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Father & son: Dunne deals?

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, April 16th, 2014 - 161 comments
Categories: accountability, news, peter dunne, tv, united future - Tags: ,

TV One Seven Sharp has raised questions about whether there has been a conflict of interest for Peter Dunne.  This is with respect to his son James Dunne’s legal representation of advocates for the recreational synthetic drug industry.

dunne- legal highs

To me it seems possible that father and son have a totally different attitude to legal highs.  As when I stated after Not a PS Staffer raised this on Open Mike last night, I require more information in order to decide whether there has been a conflict of interest.

However, legal highs are a hot topic right now, and I have been hearing people locally tell of their concerns about some new legal high shops that have opened in west Auckland.

This morning on Stuff, Charles Anderson writes of concerns about the dangers of some legal highs.

Synthetic  cannabis puts more New Zealanders in hospital per use than any other drug and experts say it is a ”timebomb” that will strain the public health system for years to come.

Results from this year’s Global Drug Survey, conducted in partnership with Fairfax Media, found almost 4 per cent of synthetic cannabis users sought emergency medical treatment. More than a quarter of those were admitted to hospital.

The survey of 5731 New Zealand respondents found more than 10 per cent had used synthetic cannabis in the past 12 months – second only to Britain, on just under 11 per cent.

Further down the article, they report statements from a legal high company, seemingly providing an alternative view:

However, Grant Hall, of legal high industry lobby Star Trust, said an independent study it commissioned showed all forms of cannabis were low-risk.

”The general public is being continuously fed a diet of media-driven propaganda against consumers of low-risk psychoactives,” he said.

”This discrimination needs to stop.”

Star Trust is a company that James Dunne represents.

James Dunne

James Dunne

He works for ChenPalmer. In a letter to the Committee for the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, written by James Dunne on behalf of Star Trust, he says:

Star Trust is the industry representative body for a number of businesses which currently hold various licenses under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013.

Star Trust, according to their website, is all for the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013.

Peter Dunne, as Associate Minister of Health, introduced this Bill to parliament.  In a press release of February 2013, he outlined the Bill and the reasons for it:

“The Bill will be a complete game-changer in terms of party pills and other legal highs,” Mr Dunne said.

“It is about moving from constantly playing catch-up with this industry on each new product they produce, to reversing the onus of proof – now they will have to prove every product is safe before it goes on sale.

“This legislation will clean up what has been a highly irresponsible legal highs industry to date.

“Producers of products such as synthetic cannabis and party pills will no longer be able to play with the health of young New Zealanders,” he said.

Seven Sharp put their case.  They claim that at the least there is an appearance of conflict of interest.  Neither James nor Peter would appear on camera to answer questions, but both claim they work independently from the other, and there was no collaboration or sharing of information. The main accusations, or implied associations are to do with James representing the legal high industry providers, and claiming, as stated on Chenpalmer website, to have

valuable inside knowledge of how Parliament works in New Zealand

In order for there to have been a conflict of interest, it seems to me that it needs to be shown that, far from cleaning up the legal high industry, the 2013 Act has enabled an industry to operate legally, while peddling highly addictive and dangerous recreational drugs.  Certainly that’s the way the main way the media is characterising the legal high business currently.  It also needs to be shown that Peter Dunne colluded with his son in misleadingly claiming that legalising synthetic drugs would clean up the industry.

I have found no such evidence.  However, it is a topical issue that requires further investigation.

A beat up, or media reporting based on genuine concerns about the harmfulness of the legal high industry?

[Update] Live chat with Peter Dunne, Stuff midday

Stuff’s synthetic cannabis live chat. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne will join us at midday but you can already leave your questions for him here.

 

161 comments on “Father & son: Dunne deals?”

  1. Tracey 1

    I am with you karol. unless the bill gets very soft on manufacturers and suppliers at p dunnes instigation I cant see the actual conflict. I wonder if the nats are trying to deflect from collins. reverse will happen imo because people wil say how do either gain… we can all see how judith and her husband gained.

    I am no dunne defender but based on what I have read on this I am defending him today.

    • Wyndham, George 1.1

      Tracey
      If it looks like a dog, smells like a dog and barks like a dog: what is it?

      It is a DOG!

      Labour should be all over this like a rash. And Labour should distance itself from Chen Palmer.

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        I’d be amazed if Labour didn’t already know about it.

        Labour contributed to (via select committee) and voted for the Psychoactive Substances Bill/Act. Do they have fleas?

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        thank god you have no power with you ” burn them” mentality

      • Ake Ake Ake 1.1.3

        “Labour should be all over this like a rash. And Labour should distance itself from Chen Palmer.”

        Where does that name ‘Palmer’ come from?

      • Wayne 1.1.4

        Seriously Karol,

        I thought you were better than this to suggest some form of “deal” here. You do step back from that in article, but the innuendo is clear enough.

        The son working for a law firm acting for a client cannot be regarded as a conflict of interest, simply because the father introduced the legislation. It would be the equivalent of saying the child of a Minister of Agriculture cannot own a farm. Or that in a Labour led Government, that a child of a Minister of Labour cannot be a Union official.The relationship would have to be much more direct.

        As you know I chose not to stand for Parliament in 2011, and thus be a Minister, because my wife (Denese Henare) wished to be a judge. The view being that having two members of a family being in two separate branches of govt would generate potential conflicts of interest. But that is quite a direct relationship, even though in reality an actual conflict may never have arisen.

        • Populuxe1 1.1.4.1

          Actually I thought Karol was suggesting quite the opposite, if you’d actually bothered to read the post

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.4.2

          I didn’t know that was the reason you’d decided not to stand, Dr. Mapp. Very commendable.

          What do you make of the potential for the National Party’s fundraising activities/favours for cash to cause problems for Judith Collins?

    • Anne 1.2

      I wonder if the nats are trying to deflect from collins.

      Good point. Bear in mind Mike Hosking is open about his support for National and I would suspect a part of John Key’s inner circle of friends and sycophants. He’s also been outed By Alison Mau as a bully and she believes that’s the reason the other member of the Seven sharp team ( Jesse someone or another) has left the programme.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Dunne snr has seemed a good friend of the liquor lobby, while Dunne jnr has chosen a different type of addictive substance category to work with and advocate for. Which he is entitled to do. Whether he should be representing this dodgy sector is up for discussion.

    Decriminalising your actual cannabis, freeing up medical cannabis, and treating all other drug use as a medical/personal wellness/recreation issue is the way to go imo.

  3. Wyndham, George 3

    Chen Palmer had a phenomenal reputation. Well connected, most talented, trusted by governments of all colours. The Law Reform functions of government have been effectively outsourced to Chen Palmer.
    They employed the son of the most “flexible” minister and had him working on the dodgy very very profitable industry that his father oversaw!

    Both Dunnes stink. Chen Palmer stinks.

    This story has legs.

    When did John Key become aware that Dunne’s son had a huge interest in the dodgy Legal High industry?
    Was he aware when he recently reappointed Dunne, despite the continuing suspicion that Dunne Snr had demonstrated dishonesty.

    Does Key still have confidence in Chen Palmer ?

    The questions are many.

    • Your attacks stink unless you can substantiate them. If you have nothing other than empty insinuation then you’re practicing vile politics.

    • TightyRighty 3.2

      you mean the very left mai chen and geoffrey palmer? being the name partners of chen palmer? retard.

      • politikiwi 3.2.1

        Sir Geoffrey Palmer practices law from Harbour Chambers in Wellington. There’s no mention of him on ChenPalmer’s website, as either a partner or anything else.

        On what do you base your assertion that he is a partner?

        If the answer is “nothing”, who is the retard?

  4. All I know about this is what I’ve seen in the public arena.

    I had already noticed that a James Dunne was representing the legal high industry and presumed there was either a family connection oe it was a coincidence, but I didn’t think it mattered.

    valuable inside knowledge of how Parliament works in New Zealand

    Obviously in some ways he will have a very good insight into how Parlaiement works, but he could have worded this much better.

    My biggest issue with this is with Seven Sharp. They have promoted it as big news:

    Peter Dunne and Legal Highs Son

    An exclusive on the link between a Peter Dunne and the man fighting against his crackdown on legal highs.

    And as Karol says they “claim that at the least there is an appearance of conflict of interest.”

    That’s because they have created that appearance and highlighted it as significant news. They have provided no evidence at all to make it any more than a manufactured perception. If they had said nothing there would be little or no public perception.

    TVNZ have tried to create news out of nothing of substance. This is very poor journalism.

    • Wyndham, George 4.1

      Bollox Pete. Dunne will loose Ohariu over this. The other candidates will print out the information that is in the Public Domain and let the voters join the dots.

      Dunne Senior is rubbish.
      Dunne Junior is rubbish.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      You’ve got a conflict of interest here, Petty George. You should shut the fuck up.

      • idlegus 4.2.1

        plus 100! corrupt, & conflicted. you have the father making the laws, & the son whose job it is to skirt around the same laws, cannot have one without the other, conflicted! nz is a small country, but not that freakin small.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      And Pete George wanders in to protect this government – again.

      Father and son on both sides of the argument is an instant perception of conflict of interest.

      • Ake Ake Ake 4.3.1

        Father, son and the holy george goat.

      • Pete George 4.3.2

        Father and son on both sides of the argument is an instant perception of conflict of interest.

        How do you work that out? One is a legal representative for the legal high industry (doing his job). The other has been instrumental in blocking three quarters of the products form the market and is on record pushing local bodies to substantially restrict sales of the remainder until the “prove relative safety” part of the Act kicks in.

        The result could easily be few or no synthetic drugs are legal.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.1

          The other has been instrumental in blocking three quarters of the products form the market and is on record pushing local bodies to substantially restrict sales of the remainder until the “prove relative safety” part of the Act kicks in.

          When he should have blocked all of them.

          Now how’s that perception looking?

          • Pete George 4.3.2.1.1

            The bill was agreed to by 119 MPs. One (John Banks) voted against because of the possibility of animal testing.

            Todd McLay: “No one will be allowed to sell psychoactive products unless it can be shown that those products pose no more than a low risk of harm.”

            “…a very significant step to protect New Zealanders, particularly young New Zealanders, from the harm caused by untested drugs and an unregulated market.”

            Iain Lees-Galloway: “Our communities up and down New Zealand will be celebrating because this is the day that we legislate to get drugs out of dairies, and I have to say that it has been a long time coming.”

            Clare Curran: “Thousands of New Zealanders are watching tonight, wanting this bill, the Psychoactive Substances Bill, to pass because it is a really important piece of legislation.”

            Kevin Hague: “This bill is one that takes New Zealand a substantial step forward towards the kind of drug law reform that we need.”

            Dr PAUL HUTCHISON: “Submissions from throughout the country supported this bill, none more so than that of the Mayor of Timaru, who said this was a No. 1 problem in her community.”

            BARBARA STEWART: “It will provide greater transparency. It will improve the health of our New Zealanders, once the substances are proven to be safe.”

            Dr JIAN YANG: “This Psychoactive Substances Bill is an excellent bill.”

            KRIS FAAFOI: “This is an excellent bill for the community of Mana and also I want to praise the other principals in Porirua who at a meeting also raised concern. Many of them were actually primary school principals who were talking about the effects not just that some of the students had been displaying in their classrooms but unfortunately some of their parents. So today is a victory for those communities.”

            Scott Simpson: “Today when this bill is passed communities up and down the countryside, and in Coromandel, will be safer and our youth will be better off for it.”

            http://yournz.org/2013/07/12/psychoactive-substances-bill-passed/

            Do they all have conflicts of interest? There’s as much evidence of that for them as there is for Dunne.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.1.1.1

              We weren’t talking about all the rest, we were talking about Dunne, his son and a piece of legislation that didn’t quite go far enough.

    • Mary 4.4

      “James has valuable inside knowledge of how Parliament works in New Zealand”

      There’s no problem that father and son are on different sides of a public debate (if giving legal representation means being on a “side”), but I’d be worried about his so-called “valuable inside knowledge”. Knowledge of how parliament works is publicly available, but “valuable inside knowledge”? What can this mean? How better could he have worded this, Pete George?

  5. Naturesong 5

    Can’t see anything to indicate that there is a conflict of interest.

    How does Peter Dunne stand to gain in any way from his sons advocacy?

    Peter Dunne has been an extremely good friend to the alchohol industry.
    And his work on the Psychoactive Substances Act, does ensure that there is no threat to alchohol remaining the primary legal drug of choice (while at the same time, being an entirely reasonable piece of legislation).

    I think there is a stronger argument to be made that rather than a conflict of interest, having a son who advocates for the legal high industry is a minor political thorn in Peters foot.

    I would much rather that media in New Zealand, if they want to hold Mr Dunne to account, actually looks at the stuff he has done wrong, there’s a lot to choose from.
    They could start with the phrase”“willing buyer – willing seller”

  6. Tom Gould 6

    The cabinet manual is very clear in relation to conflicts of interest and perceived conflicts of interest. Nepotism and cronyism are never a good look. Just ask Judith Collins. But hey, these Tories aren’t bothered with silly rules that just get in the way. And nor is the media. So long as everyone’s making plenty of dough, all is good. The issue here is did Dunne declare? Will we ever know?

    • Naturesong 6.1

      Your argument is that Dunnes capitulation to the alcohol lobby and work on the Psychoactive Substances Act, is so his son would be able to get work lobbying against his dad’s efforts?

      That’s an extraordinarily long bow.

    • Dave_1924 6.2

      Declare what precisely Tom? What Nepotism? Please give some depth to what you are saying

  7. Populuxe1 7

    It seems like a beat up – In a small, urbanised population like NZ you can play 2.5 degrees of Kevin Bacon until you have to be sectioned for paranoia. I haven’t seen anything that suggests any sort of collusion between Dunne père and Dunne fils on the subject.

    • Dave_1924 7.1

      Indeed -Populuxe 1. NZ is a highly interconnected society as you say. The Act passing through parliament was subject to the normal standards of questioning, amendments etc. P Dunne has been vocal on controlling the synthetics for a long time and has managed to achieve a form of control.

      Not sure where any conflict emerges when relations are on different sides of the argument…

      Personally: decriminalise the whole shebang, make R18, pump unbiased education out there and let people decide for themselves… its not for me, but adults make choices..

    • Bill 7.2

      That 2.5 degrees of Kevin Bacon as you term it, is absolutely the source of much corruption in NZ. I’ve come across it often enough in my previous work where, although no-one was meant to have any relationship with the presiding authority in the area I worked in, the fact is that lawyers I was up against often had a far too familiar relationship with said presiding authority. And yes. That definitely influenced decisions arrived at.

      The problem is that no obviously overt corruption between individuals is necessary for there to be widespread, and difficult to to put your finger on, systemic corruption.

      Some may argue it’s just an unfortunate and unavoidable upshot of having a smaller population. I’d argue that corruption is corruption and no less acceptable or excusable by dint of population size; that smaller populations really do need to put effort into creating better systems – ones that promote and protect integrity in the face of ‘accidental’ systemic corruption.

      edit. this comment should probably be read in conjunction with my other comment at 13.

      • Populuxe1 7.2.1

        Inevitably – but there’s not much you can do about it. However the upside is we as citizens have an unprecedented level of direct contact with our politcians. They can’t avoid us or keep secrets from us for very long – that is National’s big mistake in playing American style politics. They are trying to grow the gap between the different parts of society and I suspect it is becoming increasingly obvious to even the most deluded.

  8. felix 8

    Why are you using a photo of a 1970s evangelist preacher? Could you not find one of James Dunne?

    • karol 8.1

      Heh. Well, as far as I could see it’s a screenshot from the Seven Sharp report. If Seven Sharp is using a 70s evangelist pracher to impersonate James Dunne… then it really must be a beat up….???!!!

  9. nadis 9

    I’m right leaning voter (historically ACT when they used to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal), although I do think Peter Dunne is one of the biggest dickheads ever to enter parliament (and I never have, never would vote for him or his party), right up there with other self entitled, grandiose journeymen like Jonathan Hunt, most NZ First list MP’s etc. But this lobbying issue is a complete disgrace. Their may or may not be a genuine conflict of interest (I think probably yes given the uselessness of the law Dunne sponsored) but the black belt levels of stupid on display from Dunne senior and Dunne junior is breathtaking. The stupidity level exhibited here is simply unbelievable, but why be surprised by Peter Dunne on that score.

    Less exercised about the Judith Collins fiasco although I do think there is a slightly better than even chance she’ll quit as a minister. But it’s not what she did at the time that is the problem – it is is the cover up. Ministers should be pimping themselves out to support NZ businesses – if a company asks for official help it should be given, the issues are around disclosure.

    • Naturesong 9.1

      So you’re more interested in what looks like a beat up on an unpopular National ally, but not fussed on Judith’s clear conflict of interest.

      Remember that Judith has a long history of corruption, starting with her time at the CCA

      • nadis 9.1.1

        hmmmm…… the answer to your question is Yes, but not for the reason you imply and I don’t think it is a beat up – as I said earlier what I really find offensive is that the Dunnes are so stupid they thought this wouldn’t appear to be an issue.. I genuinely don’t have an issue with what Collins did in China. Ministers and politicians of all parties do this all the time and I think it is appropriate as long as a modicum of process is around it and disclosure occurs. I have been to numerous functions where politicians of many parties have been doing exactly what Collins did. Don’t have a problem with it whether it is national, labour or anyone else. Conflicts of interest are a fact of business and political life. The issue is management of and disclosure around conflicts of interest.

        Like almost every political scandal, it’s not the actual act that may eventually trip up Collins, it is the cover up. If she had fully disclosed and been up front prior to it happening then this wouldn’t be an issue. It’s the cover up.

        If Collins husband was not a director of Oravida then would this be an issue? No, because in the last six months there have probably been dozens or hundreds of the same situation with other MP’s. The only ones I have a problem with are where there are undeclared conflicts of interest. Of course that raises a really good point about whether our disclosure policies are robust enough.

        Can you explain how the CCA is evidence of corruption?

        • Populuxe1 9.1.1.1

          Yeah, it’s pretty much a matter of appearances rather than the blatant corruption of the Pansy Wong fiasco, which to their credit, National eventually acted on.

          • Tracey 9.1.1.1.1

            is that cos collins did it for the good of the nation?

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Can’t be that, Collins insists it was all private business so nothing to do with the nation at all.

              • Tracey

                not when she was pretending to drop in for a cuppa on the way to the airport, or wait, was that a planned visit… its getting so hard to tell.

                chuckled at the quip in parliament today about tabling her speech to the chinese about corruption.

        • felix 9.1.1.2

          “If Collins husband was not a director of Oravida then would this be an issue? “

          Yep. This goes a lot deeper than Judith’s husband. Eventually Key is going to have to cut her loose before she drags him down too.

          • Tracey 9.1.1.2.1

            and then he can play his with great sadness but as strong leader with integrity card… and still not disclose the border officials name.

            he cant be scared for the guys life cos kiwis wouldn’t deal with such a nation!!

            • felix 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Of course we wouldn’t. And our PM certainly wouldn’t be endorsing products and golfing in such an environment.

          • rod 9.1.1.2.2

            @ felix
            So lets all hope he doesn’ t cut her loose

        • Naturesong 9.1.1.3

          The Casino Control Authority was set up as an independent body to oversee Casinos operations in New Zealand, and specifically to ensure that they followed the rules as laid down in the Casino Control Act 1990.

          In 2001 Judith Collins, as chairwoman of the Casino Control Authority ruled on SkyCity’s $37 million convention centre and permitted 12 new gambling tables and 230 gaming machines, agreeing with the applicant that the new facility “would be likely to have a substantial positive impact on tourism, employment and economic development” in Auckland.

          Though apparently legal, Collins was acting well outside her mandate as Chair of the CCA.

          Corruption may be a bit strong, as I do not know of any evidence of a direct quid pro quo that Collins got for this deal, other than immediately being gifted Warren Kyd’s old Hunua (Clevedon) electorate in 2002 – though it would be a stretch to see that as payment without more information.

          You are probably right, poor governance structures when National set up the CCA led to (at best) an egregious abuse of power rather than outright corruption.

          While I’m often critical of Labour, and not being a fan of Helen Clark due to her time as Minister of Health (she should have resigned over the Bad Blood scandal – but given that Simon Upton should have been imprisoned for his role in allowing HIV infected blood to be distributed resulting in more than a few deaths, infecting dozens of New Zealanders with Hep C seems pretty mild in comparison), the Gambling Act 2003 was a good piece of legislation which addressed the shortcomings in the Casino Control Act 1990 that Collins was happy to drive a truck through.

          As far as Oravida is concerned, whether or not Collins husband was a director, she should have passed the invitation over to MFAT who are the appropriate entitiy to engage with. If they deemed it necessary for a high ranking minister to attend dinners help grease wheels, then so be it. Transparent and publically accountable.
          But, her husband is a director, and it looks a lot like they were using her position as a high ranking MP to ensure competitive advantage for Oravida. On a trip paid for by the New Zealand taxpayer no less.

      • Tracey 9.1.2

        that was my thinking on nadis post. but he said he doesnt like p dunne… and wld def prefer nat to labour hence not worried about collins behaviour

        its been the twilight zone in here for 24 hours

        • nadis 9.1.2.1

          no tracey – stop making shit up. I’m not not worried about Collins behaviour because I prefer national to labour.

          I said I don’t have a problem with ministers doing what Collins did as long as it is appropriately disclosed. Which she appears to have failed to do – I have a problem with that.

          Ministers should engage with industry. They should do this within the rules. They should disclose correctly what they are doing. In my opinion she has done the first two. Maybe not the third.

          As I said – if Collins gets sacked it will be because of poor disclosure etc not because of what she actually did in China. And there’s probably enough in her lack of disclosure to make sacking a very real prospect. And if that happened I would not be offended.

          I think I am very consistent on this sort of stuff – Labour, National or anyone else I think my tests is the same. Cunliffe opening his wife’s office and glad handing clients – not an issue. Shane Jones appearing at a fishing company client day – not a problem. John Key speaking at a PWC client briefing – not a problem. Bill English addressing Fonterra shareholders -not a problem.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Less exercised about the Judith Collins fiasco although I do think there is a slightly better than even chance she’ll quit as a minister. But it’s not what she did at the time that is the problem – it is is the cover up.

      No, it’s the fact that she did it and that the government then tried to cover it up.

      Ministers should be pimping themselves out to support NZ businesses – if a company asks for official help it should be given, the issues are around disclosure.

      No they shouldn’t. That’s what we have MFAT with a number of actual processes for.

      • Tracey 9.2.1

        anyone know the size of director fees at orivdo or if mr collins has any direct or indirect shareholding inin the chairmans companys.

        nadis

        how many companies did ms collins pimp to on her trip to china?

      • Naturesong 9.2.2

        No they shouldn’t. That’s what we have MFAT with a number of actual processes for.

        That is my understanding as well.
        Do you know where this is documented, I’ve not been able to find it.
        My google foo is weak today :???:

        This was all I got; MFAT – Strategic Direction, which has the following statement:

        We work closely with economic agencies and those who market services (such as the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; New Zealand Trade and Enterprise; Tourism New Zealand; Education New Zealand; the Treasury; and the Ministry for Primary Industries) to lead the Building Export Markets pillar of the Business Growth Agenda to ensure that “New Zealand businesses have a one-stop online shop for all government advice and support they need to run and grow their business”. This is an important role in the Better Public Services results area of improving interaction with government.

        But not found documentation regarding what processes they follow – may be internal documents?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.1

          Couldn’t say ATM – just my recollections of what MFAT were for from my time at Uni. They actually are there to improve trade and to help NZ businesses where necessary.

    • Regardless of whether what Collins initially did satisfactory or not she has made a mess of her responses to the extent her political career is in jeopardy.

      In comparison Dunne has nothing to respond to, there has been no claim (by Seven Sharp) he did any thing wrong.

      National seem to have nothing to worry about regarding Dunne, and they have a huge headache with Collins. That’s the political reality.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        National seem to have nothing to worry about regarding Dunne, and they have a huge headache with Collins. That’s the political reality.

        Glad you’ve finally shown your true colours and I’m sure that National is grateful for your concern and support.

        Dunne, though, is history.

        • Populuxe1 9.3.1.1

          Rubbish. Politicians don’t live in seclusion like monks – in your scenario every politician would have to be busted because their mother’s hairdresser’s cousin’s aunt made it a conflict of interest. We barely have a population of four million people, most of whom are concentrated in cities. Your position is laughably impractical.

  10. Kevin Welsh 10

    I am still trying to get my head around the fact that there is a legal high industry lobby group.

  11. Wyndham, George 11

    What are the chances Chen Palmer are calling editors in all media to put them on notice that they will take action against anyone who pushes this story too hard?

  12. shorts 12

    from the stuff quote:

    “Synthetic cannabis puts more New Zealanders in hospital per use than any other drug and experts say it is a ”timebomb” that will strain the public health system for years to come.”

    Really… so alcohol and nicotine have been surpassed

    Lock up your kids everybody the downfall of society is here – or at least judging by the reporting and very emotive use of victim story (hey campbell live) and lack of substantive expert opinion

    I guess we’ll never have an intelligent debate around recreational drugs in this country, meanwhile in the USA….

  13. Bill 13

    Is there any way there were no ‘private chats’ between the two on any proposals? I’d be immensely surprised if that was the case. Such chats, even conducted in all innocence, are bound to influence opinion. Such chats, not so innocently conducted by one or the other, will have a greater influence.

    Way I look at it is pretty simple. If I was on a union’s negotiating team and my father was on the employers side of the fence (or visa versa), then I’d be having nothing to do with negotiations. (Okay – that’s a lie. I’d use any influence I had to get the best deal I could for the workforce. Not a lie if I was on the employers side, well…unless I set myself up to act as a mole.)

    Point is, there are a million and one little snippets of information and signals to train of thought that inevitably influence and/or advantage the argument of one party or the other when they have casual or private contact.

    • Tracey 13.1

      or they could agree to never bring the topic up. ever.

      it is possible and some families have topics which are off limits.

      is there currently any proof that dunne snr has watered down his original proposal to favour the people his son represents.

      • Bill 13.1.1

        I think there is a broader systemic problem that this issue signposts (or possibly highlights). Rather than repeat myself, I’ll link to my comment at 7.2 that attempts to contribute on that front.

    • Wyndham, George 13.2

      There is nothing accidental or innocent or pure fluke about anything to do with Chen Palmer.
      It would be very very surprising if the allocation of Dunne Junior to the dodgy Legal Highs brief was co-incidental!
      Anyone who has seen Mai Chen in action will have formed an opinion that she would have seen the strategic advantage of matching Dunne Junior with the dodgy legal high barrow boys.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3

      Spot on Bill: this and your comment at 7.2 are gems.

  14. George 14

    the 2013 Act has enabled an industry to operate legally, while peddling highly addictive and dangerous recreational drugs

    The act was designed to stop the whack-a-mole game of banning substances, only to have reformulated and unknown substances appear immediately afterwards to replace them. Chemists are more inventive than regulators. Now everything is regulated on the basis that if you want to sell it, you have to prove its safety – it can’t be highly addictive, and it can’t be dangerous. This process has begun, and we will see the full effects soon. In most cases, people are protesting about products that are now, or will soon be, illegal.

    This is a very strong insinuation being made against a person, without the least bit of evidence. It is well known that Peter Dunne has a ‘particular approach’ to the regulation of the sectors he covers (tax, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and now legalised drugs) which balances industry freedom against the harm caused. I think (quite strongly) that this balance is tilted much to far in the favour of alcohol and tobacco, but on legal drugs he seems to have got things mostly right. Dunne’s approach has not changed substantially in decades however. As for his son – he can do whatever he likes, within the bounds of the law – he’s a very smart man who doesn’t need to get inside gossip to have a very strong understanding of the law.

  15. fisiani 15

    Just another baseless smear campaign.
    Why even bring it up?
    Why not just write We hate Peter Dunne.

    [lprent: Perhaps you should actually read the post rather than just looking at the pictures? ]

    • risildowgtn 15.1

      Stop smoking that legal high shit.and you might be able to post something relevant.

  16. Rosie 16

    Hmmm, well thats very interesting! However, I don’t feel outrageously scandalised by it, not immediately at least and would like to learn more before I make any judgements.

    I’m more outraged by Dunne’s vote on legislation in this current Nat Govt over the last almost 6 years and the damage that has done. To quote Naturesong above:

    “I would much rather that media in New Zealand, if they want to hold Mr Dunne to account, actually looks at the stuff he has done wrong, there’s a lot to choose from.
    They could start with the phrase”“willing buyer – willing seller” ”

    Onya Naturesong – and this is what the people of Ohariu need to consider on 20th September. But will they?

    I have to say my observations of living in this electorate is that it is a bit “traditional”. That is the kindest word I can use to describe the people. It’s represented in the types of businesses here, the lack of visible community arts projects(compared to the more progressive and interesting neighbourhoods of Wgtn) and the prevalence of “family” values that seem to abound. It’s conservative through and through.

    While these folks don’t seem to get that Dunne is working against the :”ordinary Kiwi” and see him as the reliable “family values” MP that turns up their kids school and the opening of an envelope, what they won’t tolerate is any whiff of perceived underhandedness (even though its been under their noses all the time).

    This revelation could blow over by the end of the week but if the story grows it will be interesting to see how the locals take it. Many are keen to see the end of Dunne’s 30 year reign in Ohariu, but there are still many more who stubbornly support him, and turn a blind eye. Will this be enough to make them think twice?

  17. This is just another distraction from the serious issue of how we deal with the many people addicted to and having their lives ruined by synthetic shit.

    The Act is going to ban most of not all currently legal and any new synthetic drugs. But that won’t solve the problem of the many people currently addicted. It will just shift the problem. Unless other measures are taken the problem could get worse.

    • Dave_1924 17.1

      Pete – you will never stop people taking substances. never. People will drive miles from Wellington to Taranaki to find mushrooms so they can lie in fields and bush in the dark tripping.

      Its not for me – but people do it. What needs to happen is to make sure people have good information to make informed choices. then on their head be it

      • Pete George 17.1.1

        Yes, and that’s my concern. All different laws do no matter how well intentioned, including the current one, is shuffle the problems around.

        Banning psychoactive substances doesn’t stopped determined users from abusing themselves, especially but not exclusively those who are addicted.

        I think the Act should eliminate most variants and especially the worst of the synthetic drugs and it should reduce some risks – but the core of the problem remains.

        • Naturesong 17.1.1.1

          We could start treating all drug use (legal or not) as a health issue rather than a criminal one, that’d be a start.

          • Pete George 17.1.1.1.1

            The biggest (initial) problem with that is there seems to be absolutely no political will to even consider anything like this.

            There are growing public calls to ban, ban, ban but that won’t fix things.

            We need innovative leadership but on drug issues all we have are political mules trying to avoid annoyed voters.

            • Naturesong 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Ahh yes, an old favourite of National and Labour when it comes to drug policy; running dog whistles past focus groups.

              There is innovative leadership about though, they’re the ones constantly vilified in the press as a bunch of nutters.

              • Unfortunately the reality is they don’t seem very keen on doing anything about it either right now.

                • Naturesong

                  Only so much time in the day.

                  With National completing this round of asset stripping, and somewhat more pressing existential threat parties like National pose to humans on this planet, their plate is somewhat full.

                  Nice to haves like addressing systemic inequities and inefficient, poorly thought out laws which cause more social problems than they solve must take a back seat to the survival of New Zealand citizens.

                  Thankfully, Green party members by and large think intergenerationally rather than just the next news cycle, so policy development and revision is an ongoing process.

                  I look forward to the day that the Green Party has no reason to exist, whether it’s because the other parties have stolen all their policies, which is something both National and Labour are prone to do, or because they get into power and are able to legislate them.

                  • We’ll always need a Green Party to nudge the others along, if nothing else. There’s widespread support for a bit of Green although there’s a wariness of too much. Most people are quite conservative about their way of life.

                    • Naturesong

                      Well, the Green party at their core are conserative.

                      It comes through loud and clear then they are debating in the house, reoccurring themes like; accountability, transparency, good governance, ensure policy is evidence based, follow up legislative changes to ensure they are working as intended, honour the legal documents you sign – like treaties, ensure policies are cost effective etc.

                      Then you have all the stuff that appeals to christians Jesus; tolerance, compassion, social justice, care for the poor, treat your fellow man the way you wish to be treated etc

                      Admittedly, they do have some radical ideas like don’t shit where you eat, and don’t burn down your own house.
                      But hey, it’s hard keeping a lid on all that craazy!

  18. Dave_1924 18

    So my question here is this:

    Why did Mai Chen and Geoffrey Palmer the principle partners at ChenPlamer not manage this a little bit better?

    Given Mai’s deep knowledge of constitutional Lawyer and Geoffrey’ in depth and personal understanding of the dirty little game we call politics, Why when the job to represent the legal high industry arrive did they not say – Dunne jnr this is not for you sorry, conflict of interest might be brought up given Dunne snr is the Minister responsible for this area?

    Why did they not ensure it was handled by someone without a familial connection?

    Nothing to do with a set up job maybe? Not that I am saying it was – just asking the question to see if its plausible….

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      People make mistakes all the time – even people as experienced as Mai Chen.

      • Dave_1924 18.1.1

        Draco – that is a pretty poor defence for them. It doesn’t work for the National Party or their affiliates, this blog and its commentators would be all over them for a mistake – so it shouldn’t work for Geoff and his law firm…

        • SW 18.1.1.1

          Draco and Dave – This obviously isn’t a mistake by Mai Chen. There is no conflict of interest for Peter Dunne’s son to provide legal advice to the legal high industry. Please explain why there would be?

          • Dave_1924 18.1.1.1.1

            SW – I don’t think there is a a conflict of interest personally, as long as Father and Son are not discussing this in private and agreeing outcomes.

            A lot of the posts on this topic say there is somehow a conflict of interest.

            My point is simply this – ChenPalmer should have consider whether or not a Conflict of interest could or would be perceived to happen, by assigning Dunne jnr to represent the Legal Highs lobby group.

            I think they would have as standard type assignment process. If it was me doing the assignment, I would probably have put another staffer on the assignment just to be ultra conservative in approach

            But then again as I see no conflict its not really a big deal.

            • SW 18.1.1.1.1.1

              Dave, I am almost certain that it won’t be random – Mai Chen would have selected him because he is the best Lawyer they have (with capacity to act) for that particular client.

              Ultra conservative from what stand point though? Should Mai Chen have anticipated ‘mud slinging’. There is a difference between a connection and a conflict of interest.

              If there was a story about Sue Bradford’s daughter giving legal advice to an violence lobby group, would you consider that a bad call?

              • Dave_1924

                Appearance is everything though isn’t SW – as I said I don’t think there is a conflict personally, just think ChenPalmer could have anticipated the highly political nature of the work and made certain there staffer didn’t have his name dragged through the mud is all.

                Sue’s daughter – given Sue has no power or control or ministerial responsibility for that area of policy answer has to be no. It might lead to factious family dinners but that’s a personal matter.

      • Populuxe1 18.1.2

        Hahahahaha – that is amazing lead footed for you, Draco. It’s clearly deliberate, if only in a symbolic way.

  19. Rosie 19

    A question from the live chat, mentioned in karols’s article and reply from Peter Dunne:

    “2:27
    Comment From Barry
    Is it true you son is a legal rep for the legal high community? If so, does that cause any trouble at home/conflict?
    12:27

    Peter Dunne: Yes. No.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/global-drug-survey/9947906/Live-chat-Peter-Dunne-and-synthetic-cannabis

  20. Wyndham, George 20

    http://tvnz.co.nz/seven-sharp/peter-dunne-and-legal-highs-son-video-5932718

    Here is the Seven Sharp piece from last night. Judge for yourselves.

    Move along. No story here! Nonsense. This stinks.

    • tinfoilhat 20.1

      Yes Seven Sharp does indeed stink !

    • Russell Brown ‏@publicaddress
      Seven Sharp would have had their “exclusive” about James Dunne much sooner if they had an actual clue about the topic

      @jehancasinader
      Care to elaborate, or is that just a cute line?

      Russell Brown ‏@publicaddress
      “Exclusive” would normally refer to something that was a secret.

      Fine, report it, but I don’t think you can trumpet an “exclusive” about something anyone who covers on the sector knows.

      NZ Drug Foundation ‏@nzdrug
      It’s been widely known for *a long* time. Didn’t realise media didn’t know.

      @PeterDunneMP’s other son is a doctor, and Peter is assoc. Minister of Health. Conflict?

      And the Drug Foundation point to a post at Trip Me, it’s all worth reading but her’s a bit:

      I find it absolutely mind blowing that people jump up and down claiming that the public is being used as some sort of human experiment, when we have these pharmaceutical companies shoveling all sorts of medicines down peoples throats that have pages upon pages of negative side effects. How IRONIC is it that most of the currently prescribed anti-depressants include side effects such as Nausea, Insomnia, Anxiety, Restlessness, Tremors, Sweating, Sleepiness or fatigue, Dry mouth, Headaches, SUICIDAL THOUGHTS!!! – Sound familiar???

      Almost every medicine available is an ongoing public experiment, how can you not understand this?

      We live in a world where hundreds and thousands of unregulated chemicals go in to the manufacture of house hold goods, cleaning products and our FOOD.

      We also need to understand, that the Ministry of Health obviously has some extremely high level experts working on this law. If there was some sort of immediate or serious long term harm to the public, if used correctly, do you honestly think the products would still be on the shelves? I find it very hard to believe that the chemists, scientists and doctors working for, or advising the government haven’t done some sort of due diligence to ensure people aren’t going to drop dead.

      And here’s the end of it:

      The social and economic costs of NOT continuing down this path of regulation is, in my opinion, are indescribable.

      Now … back to where we stand at this very moment. We have synthetic cannabinoids that are awaiting trials and safety testing. We also we have a subset of people that are abusing them, not knowing that they could become addicted and cause some side effects. We also have legal high companies that are selling these products and are getting a hard time.

      Sure there are some bad apples like I said above, and we all know this, but there are also some people, that have a much greater vision for the future of this country, and the world. A world where good, honest, law abiding citizens aren’t locked up or given a criminal record for cannabis possession … a world where good, honest people, can relax or party hard on occasion with a safe regulated recreational pill, powder or substance without the fear of retribution, whatever that may be.

      And let’s just remember that it takes time and money to get to that point. We wouldn’t be half way down that path without this new law, we wouldn’t have this new law without synthetic cannabis, and without the legal highs companies being in the financial position to afford to develop and test these substances, we will never reach that goal or that vision, and all the hard work would be unwound and the underworld will once again reign supreme.

      Let’s just hope that even after all the media hysteria, bullying and abuse at least one or two of the “good apples” can make it through and make the world a better place.

      http://www.tripme.co.nz/forums/showthread.php?11729-Anti-synthetic-rally/page6

      A ‘possible perception’ is the least of our worries when it comes to drugs. Let’s deal with the real problems.

  21. Neo 21

    At the end of the day, natural cannabis needs to be legalized. In an ideal world, we would have high CBD, low THC cannabis available for recreational and medical use and everyone would vaporize at a reasonable temp. But this is not an ideal world now is it?

    Natural cannabis has MUCH of the same issues that we see with synthetic cannabis, if used and abused to the same extent however.

    Any young person, under the age of 21, that smokes up to and above an ounce a week, of natural cannabis skunk, is going to suffer long term psychological damage. There have been some minor studies to prove this, but for those of us that have friends and family that have been smoking for years and years, we know this already.

    ALCOHOL does exactly the same thing, only ten times worse. We are hearing reports of people getting violent and aggressive, but there is absolutely NO denying that there is a subset of the population that has these violent and aggressive tendencies without drugs or alcohol, so of course these people are going to suffer ill-effects. Don’t act like natural cannabis somehow doesn’t have these negative side effects. Because it does.

    I find it absolutely mind blowing that people jump up and down claiming that the public is being used as some sort of human experiment, when we have these pharmaceutical companies shoveling all sorts of medicines down peoples throats that have pages upon pages of negative side effects. How IRONIC is it that most of the currently prescribed anti-depressants include side effects such as Nausea, Insomnia, Anxiety, Restlessness, Tremors, Sweating, Sleepiness or fatigue, Dry mouth, Headaches, SUICIDAL THOUGHTS!!! – Sound familiar???

    Almost every medicine available is an ongoing public experiment, how can you not understand this?

    We live in a world where hundreds and thousands of unregulated chemicals go in to the manufacture of house hold goods, cleaning products and our FOOD.

    We also need to understand, that the Ministry of Health obviously has some extremely high level experts working on this law. If there was some sort of immediate or serious long term harm to the public, if used correctly, do you honestly think the products would still be on the shelves? I find it very hard to believe that the chemists, scientists and doctors working for, or advising the government haven’t done some sort of due diligence to ensure people aren’t going to drop dead.

    Most of the synthetic cannbinoids were developed by some of the largest pharma companies in the world for human consumption, as medicines, or controls, or whatever, then of course many were then modified by equally intelligent chemists in order to change the effect or skirt the law. But the fact of the matter is, right now, the cannabinoids that are used in most products possibly aren’t the most ideal cannabinoids available and we are likely to see better studied and better suited noids in future products.

    The biggest issue in all of this is education. Young people simply should not be using them at all. I think the age restriction should be 21 and not 18, same with alcohol quite frankly. Personally I think ALL packs should have some sort of warning stating that the chemicals contained in these products have NOT been thoroughly tested and are to be used at a users own risk. And people need to understand that, at the end of the day, Synthetic Cannabis is a DRUG. Just because it is legal does not make it suddenly some sort of magical substance that is safe from side effects and abuse. It’s not. No drugs are!

    Somebody show me ONE cannabis user that doesn’t have problems sleeping at night or get agitated the day after smoking.
    Somebody show me ONE alcohol user that hasn’t injured themselves or killed a few brain or liver cells from binge drinking.

    The harms are all relative, and drugs are not going away any time soon. Sure we could “ban” synthetic cannabis, but there is no doubt in my mind that the people that are truly abusing these products are going to find another fix. Glue sniffing, huffing, pills, whatever.

    Let’s also remember that not all synthetic highs are created equally. There are a number of “bad apples” in the industry, and the government are doing what they can now to weed these people out. (No pun intended) – Only now are we getting to the stage where all manufacturing is closely monitored, all chemicals need to be tested for purity, we are now getting to the stage (FINALLY) where chemicals and I guess the plant matter and finished product must go through some very very strict and serious tests to ensure they are “low risk”. Remember that this all takes time and money. The government also requires statistics to define what should be considered “low risk” – how do they get some of those statistics? From health departments of course. Obviously we have the toxicity testing and all that, but there is certainly an element of real life case studies that are needed. We have had almost ten years of synthetic cannabis (ab)use in New Zealand and with this data, the government is able to make a more informed decision.

    We already know alcohol would NEVER pass these tests. But it’s all relative. If you are going to take a DRUG, then you know, there are some risks associated with the use of that drug. With the use of ANY drug. But consumers need to be educated that this is the case and consumers need to be of an age where they are able to make such informed decisions.

    If natural cannabis were legal, the same thing would apply.

    I’d like to take a step back for a minute, and let’s pretend like synthetic cannabis were never introduced. Where would we be along the road to better drug laws? Probably not very far, not even close to where we are now.

    So let’s look at a few statistics shall we?

    The latest global drug survey gave us an interesting insight in to New Zealand Drug Use, and it is hugely concerning;

    7.9% of New Zealanders have used LSD in the past year, 31.9% in their lifetimes.
    13.1% of New Zealanders have used “MDMA” in the past year, 36.4% in their lifetimes.
    4.9% have used Amphetamines and 3.2% have used Cocaine in the past year.

    Now let’s not kid ourselves here, how sure are we, that organized crime syndicates and local drug dealers have the end users health in mind when they are cutting their products for greater profits?

    How sure are we that those 580 THOUSAND New Zealanders that have used “MDMA” in the past year actually got MDMA? How sure are we that those pills or bags of powder were not cut with HIGHLY HIGHLY dangerous chemicals or other synthetic drugs that are not regulated or tested?

    Have any of you actually seen the number of new RC’s that are developed around the world on a monthly basis? Times are changing guys. We no longer live in the world of ‘cocaine’ ‘ecstasy’ and ‘cannabis’ – there are hundreds of thousands of drug dealers that don’t give two shits about what they are selling as long as it gives the user “a buzz” – and you know what else? – A large majority of users probably don’t give two shits about what they are taking either … so long as it gives them “a buzz”.

    The same can be said for the 350 THOUSAND New Zealanders that took what they thought was “LSD” in the past 12 months – most likely made in a lab somewhere with poor quality controls, most likely not even LSD half of the time.

    The same can be said for cocaine, meth, whatever people are taking these days. It’s a truly STAGGERING number of people that are taking recreational drugs. Unreal if you ask me.

    So the reality is, people are going to use and abuse drugs, regardless of their safety profile, regardless or their legality and regardless of the cost.

    If we, as a country, can make steps towards giving well over half a million New Zealanders (likely a hell of a lot more), the chance to use some of these recreational substances, with the knowledge that they don’t contain harmful adulterants, they are not cut to crap with god knows what, they are what they say they are on the pack (as if this happens with illegal drugs anyway) and they have the support of the health system if something goes wrong, then I truly believe we are going to be in a position where we are SAVING more lives than we are LOSING. Both in terms of fatalities and long term quality of life.

    The social and economic costs of NOT continuing down this path of regulation is, in my opinion, are indescribable.

    Now … back to where we stand at this very moment. We have synthetic cannabinoids that are awaiting trials and safety testing. We also we have a subset of people that are abusing them, not knowing that they could become addicted and cause some side effects. We also have legal high companies that are selling these products and are getting a hard time. Sure there are some bad apples like I said above, and we all know this, but there are also some people, that have a much greater vision for the future of this country, and the world. A world where good, honest, law abiding citizens aren’t locked up or given a criminal record for cannabis possession … a world where good, honest people, can relax or party hard on occasion with a safe regulated recreational pill, powder or substance without the fear of retribution, whatever that may be. And let’s just remember that it takes time and money to get to that point. We wouldn’t be half way down that path without this new law, we wouldn’t have this new law without synthetic cannabis, and without the legal highs companies being in the financial position to afford to develop and test these substances, we will never reach that goal or that vision, and all the hard work would be unwound and the underworld will once again reign supreme.

    Let’s just hope that even after all the media hysteria, bullying and abuse at least one or two of the “good apples” can make it through and make the world a better place.

    [karol: Neo, you have pretty much word for word repeated the post that Pete George linked to above. ie here.

    Rather than repeat a post from eleswhere. This is against the policy of this blog, as stated within the Policy. Or are you double posting?]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      How sure are we that those pills or bags of powder were not cut with HIGHLY HIGHLY dangerous chemicals or other synthetic drugs that are not regulated or tested?

      Well, we can’t be sure, but the reality is that illegal drug manufacturing is a risky and expensive business and adding risky expensive additives that have ill effects (beyond the effects you’re after) just piles on cost.

      Not to mention that your clients will not all be nice people who turn a blind eye to being poisoned.

      Still, SNAFU.

    • It’s time to build some social media pressure to address this. Many people are talking and demanding things change, but in bubbles of babble.

      This all needs to be connected and harnessed.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2.1

        But not by you, because your connections with United Future mean you have a conflict of interest, Petty George.

        • Pete George 21.2.1.1

          That’s pathetic, with a big does of irony on the petty. If all you can do is put petty politics first then butt out.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2.1.1.1

            Yeah nah Pete: read what Bill has to say at 7.2 and 13.

            You’re always lying paying lip service to saying how we can do politics better. Here’s your opportunity. Take a principled stance and recognise that you are far too close to the issue to offer anything useful about the excessive influence of the Dunne family in this situation.

    • Karol, Neo may not have seen what I posted (I quoted some of and linked to his post at Trip Me) .

      I thought it was worth a full repeat here but decided not to risk it, but Neo may not know the protocols here.

  22. aerobubble 22

    We should of just decriminalize… …the current setup, the rush to find an commerical alternative, that someone can hold a copyright on, is just disgraceful. Turning young kiwis into lab experiments.

  23. Wyndham, George 23

    This blog is about the stink of insider influence in the matter of “Legal” highs and this Government. Don’t let the trolls distract you with debate on marijuana.

    99% of the population wants the synthetic shit banned.
    The minister is refusing to ban the shit.
    The minister’s son is making a living off the shit.

    If that was happening in Australia or the Philippines we would call it corruption.

    • miravox 23.1

      If Dunne had shouted out loudly in public that his son represented the legal high industry before any regulatory processes had begun this whole possible conflict of interest problem would have been sorted and nobody would be wondering if the legislation was to benefit the industry rather than the public.

      Because this wasn’t done, there is the appearance of at least nepotism, but it’s hard to prove one way or the other.

    • Naki Man 23.2

      “99% of the population wants the synthetic shit banned.
      The minister is refusing to ban the shit.
      The minister’s son is making a living off the shit”

      You are an idiot, If Peter Dunne could ban the shit he would.
      Hamilton has shut down all of its Legal high shops.
      These other councils need to get off their lazy arse and work the law to their advantage
      and do the same thing.

      • mickysavage 23.2.1

        Um if Parliament bans this shit it is banned …

        Is Dunne a member of the Government or not? If he is he has to admit that he did not ban the shit …

        And Hamilton cannot shut down all of its shops. Dunne told it so …

        Do you have any understanding of law?

        • Naki Man 23.2.1.1

          I have been told by people who live in Hamilton that the council has closed the shops and Hamilton people have to drive to another town to buy these drugs.
          When a product is banned these guys just sell a similar product. You cant ban products that
          have not even been made yet. So you cant ban the shit.

          • felix 23.2.1.1.1

            Sure you can. You pass a law that says anything with a psychoactive effect on humans is illegal unless otherwise stated.

            Done.

            • Naki Man 23.2.1.1.1.1

              Felix. I don’t think you can do that, I believe you have to name the substance that you are banning

              • Not a PS Staffer

                Naki man
                Did Chen Palmer advise you of this?

                Wait ’til you get the invoice!

              • felix

                Naki Man, what are you talking about?

                Parliament. Is. Sovereign.

                • srylands

                  This favourite throw away line “Parliament is Sovereign” is so glib.

                  Firstly we have signed away some of our sovereignty. e.g. in practice we cannot pass laws that conflict with a range of international obligations without severe consequences (e.g we can’t decide to impose trade sanctions on Israel and chant “yay the Palestinians Parliament is sovereign”

                  Secondly you use the chant as a retort when someone calls you on a ridiculous or damaging proposal (or ignorant of good law).

                  So stop chanting felix.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Nope, you don’t. Only people who want loopholes in the law believe that.

            • Populuxe1 23.2.1.1.1.2

              Which would also ban chocolate, coffee, all forms of alcohol, a number of innocuous herbs, all psychopharmeceuticals and so forth. Can you not see a problem there?

              • Draco T Bastard

                There is no problem as I explained earlier.

              • felix

                Well Pop, I do have a philosophical problem with it in that I don’t think it’s really the state’s business.

                However if we’ve
                1. decided that we must regulate the sale of psychoactives, and
                2. found that it’s futile to ban specific substances as they can be slightly altered, then
                3. it makes more sense to ban them all and exempt the ones you want allowed.

      • Draco T Bastard 23.2.2

        If Peter Dunne could ban the shit he would.

        The present lack of a ban was due to Dunne’s work and recommendation. Basically, he could have had it banned and he didn’t.

        • aerobubble 23.2.2.1

          Dunne should be up before the international human rights court for experimenting on our youth, in my opinion.

  24. felix 24

    Gosh, a live chat with Peter Dunne. Be still my beating heart.

  25. SW 25

    Miravox, how is there an appearance of nepotism? Also, I understand it was in no way a secret.

    • miravox 25.1

      It might not have been secret, but the public didn’t know about it. The appearance of nepotism is that Dunne ‘might’ tailor the legislation to suit his son’s objectives. Note I wrote appearance – imo there is not the evidence to say that this happened… but that’s the problem when there is bugger all openess in the who’s who and processes of developing regulations (and in other government business).

  26. BEATINGTHEBOKS 26

    If Cunliffe stated he would ban synthetic dope he would immediately win thousands of votes. It would be the right thing to do for a variety of health reasons, and be an popular issue to take a stand on. Certainly more people would care about it than some bullshit policy on truck driving. People are sick of this shit. The legal detail could be sorted out in 5 minutes by Judge Judy plus commercials all it takes is the will to do it, Dunns idiot progeny should use some more of his own product and see how he fares mentally. But no he won’t he’ll just sell it to people who are too stupid to know any better. Well done dad you raised a drug dealer ( oh but its legal).

    • Where in the world has banning synthetic dope been successful? Banning any dope? Banning alcohol?

      It succeeds in giving criminals a market, so apart from that.

      • Weepu's Beard 26.1.1

        Are you saying legalise everything? Didn’t know United Future was so…um…reckless.

        • Pete George 26.1.1.1

          I don’t speak for UF, I don’t have anything to do with them, and my views differ from Dunne’s on this, they always have.

          The key points are:
          – people will seek and use drugs no matter what is banned
          – we have to find the safest way to allow them use drugs
          – alcohol is entrenched and regulated so we already allow that
          – the least worst drug options should be treated similarly
          – this is likely to be cannabis plus any synthetics if they can prove they are about as safe

          That’s the safest and least crime associated approach.

          There’s a few details to be worked out but I think that’s the crux of the issue.

          Banning everything has never worked and it never will work.

      • Minarch 26.1.2

        This based on the (false) premise there would be a major black market for this stuff. Its no real substitute for the real thing, and if it shared the same legal status as actual cannabis I doubt anyone would even bother

        Off course legalizing real cannabis would also effectively sink this stuff in the water, and the potential tax take would be a real benefit to society

        Real cannabis carries a “retail marijuana excise tax” of 15% in Colorado ( plus other sales taxes) (for recreational use ) making the total tax bill as high as 23% I believe medical use is untaxed.

        $2 million USD in taxes just in January 2014 alone (the first month recreational sales and use became legal ) & the first $40 million raised has been earmarked toward school construction

        sounds better than the situation we currently have here,

  27. SW 27

    Thanks for the reply Miravox.

    Well why would the public know? Should the public know if Bill English’s son worked in the finance sector? Tony Ryall’s as a doctor? Where is the public interest in knowing such things (again I highlight this was public anyway – just not reported on).

    More to the point though, how can Dunne (Snr) tailor the legislation? Individual MPs are responsible for introducing Bills, but you need an awful amount of votes and several rounds of debates etc before any laws get passed!

    But lets imagine that 1 MP can wrangle the system and pass a law that will benefit their kid (by supposedly duping the other 120 MPs). I want to know how this meant to benefit his son? His son works for Mai Chen as a lawyer. The client is not his but his firms. He will be on a salary that might be dependent on how many hours he works, but he cannot directly benefit from any financial gains made by one of his clients.

    In short, is the allegation that it might appear like P Dunne passed a law that would benefit his son by potentially providing his sons law firm with a client they would not have otherwise had? I suggest that is a very very long bow.

    • miravox 27.1

      “Well why would the public know? Should the public know if Bill English’s son worked in the finance sector? Tony Ryall’s as a doctor?”

      If a family member is involved in supporting/lobbying for the industry the Minister is in regulating – yes, the public should know. As for tailoring legislation – have you never tailored the presentation of information? Lobbyists, for example, do it all the time and have be known to convince Ministers that it’s in the best interests of the public.

      The son charges his time to the legal highs industry, and will be retained if he gets the results they want. He benefits if enacted regulation suits the legal highs industry.

      Anyway, this sort of discussion is made entirely irrelevant if the public knows about potential conflicts of interest before the situations when they could possibly occur are underway. It’s pretty simple to be transparent and this government seems to have forgotten to do that quite frequently … Wong, Smith, Worth, Collins, Adams, Dunne, Key (Ian Fletcher, trusts, Tranzrail)… just for starters.

      Edit: P.S. – reply button, bottom right.

      • SW 27.1.1

        I see! My apologies, please read response below haha.

        I just honestly think this story is very lazy journalism and is a non-event. I don’t think lazy journalism and misunderstanding of how our legal and political system works is a good thing for the left, and shouldn’t be encouraged just because it goes against someone from the other team.

        The Judith Collins conflict on the other hand, now that is where the focus should be…

        • miravox 27.1.1.1

          No problem.

          I don’t object to lawyers doing their job so I have no objection to Matthew Palmer doing his job. I do have a problem with government ministers not being entirely transparent about their connections when those family members have an interest in what they’re legislating for. one of the reasons for that objection is that when people find out after the event these sorts of stories happen.

          If Ministers were transparent about their relevant connections, then stories like this could never happen, and there is no speculation about benefits, collusion or anything; else either because a conflict of interest is identified, managed and the public agree with that management, or the public agree there is no conflict of interest. This is the only point I was trying to make.

          • Pete George 27.1.1.1.1

            That you may not have known about it doesn’t mean the Dunnes weren’t transparent.

            Neither tried to hide their identities or their involvements as far as I’m aware. It seems to have been well known and certainly wasn’t secret, having the same surname made the possibility of a relationship quite obvious.

            If Ministers were transparent about their relevant connections, then stories like this could never happen, and there is no speculation about benefits, collusion or anything else…

            The Seven Sharp item and this thread may prove that wrong.

        • Naturesong 27.1.1.2

          This.

          Expending energy chasing irrelevancies does two things that work against the broader “left” (the most redundant term in 21st century politics).

          1. It makes Peter Dunne more resilient to efforts to hold him to account. “Another attack on poor Peter Dunne, I’m not going to bother looking at this one as I’m now sure that it’ll be as baseless as the last one”.
          2. It diminishes the credibility of those who spend time and energy on said irrelevancies. Next time they raise an issue people will remember “oh yeah, I remember you, you’re the folks who didn’t know what a conflict of interest was.”

          My inner conspiracy theorist wonders if this was the point of Seven Sharp’s piece. To sow distraction.

          When holding politicians to account, care needs to be taken to ensure that actual conflicts of interest and corruption are highlighted instead of running around chasing butterflies.

          It’s not as if the current National Government presents a paucity of conflicts of interest, corruption of process and outright corruption and abuse of power to choose from.

          With Peter Dunne specifically, concentrate on his capitulation to the alcohol lobby, and the ethical vacuum he stepped into when he voted on the GCSB bill.

    • Draco T Bastard 27.2

      In short, is the allegation that it might appear like P Dunne passed a law that would benefit his son by potentially providing his sons law firm with a client they would not have otherwise had?

      Nope, the appearance is that a law was passed that was badly influenced by the industry that it was to regulate via the familial connection. This is known as regulatory capture and is generally considered a Bad Thing. It doesn’t help that, seemingly, most people think that the law didn’t go far enough.

      • SW 27.2.1

        DTB – do you think I might be able change your mind on this one ha?
        Let me know if you want to continue to discuss.

        To be clear, I assure you I come from a ‘pure’ position – I am no Dunne supporter and I have no vested interest in arguing in support of his party or this government.

        For years I have read this blog, but this is the first post I have actually contributed to. I post because I’m frustrated. This issue is symbolic of many that have been focused on by authors and commentators here, but in my opinion has no chance of making traction.

        I’m frustrated because I see how much better the ‘Right’ handle PR than the ‘Left’ (or at least Labour). The public at large no longer join political parties – if you lose at PR you lose voters unnecessarily (perhaps a depressing outlook, but an unfortunate reality in 2014 NZ).

  28. Not a PS Staffer 28

    Today has been an interesting one on The Standard.

    Firstly, I had no idea the Peter Dunne has so many supporters and that so many of them read The Standard.
    Secondly I had no idea so many people were so incredibly forgiving and/or tolerant. No wonder National is still leading in the polls.

    • SW 28.1

      So you don’t have a problem with Geoffrey Palmer not declaring a conflict of interest (ie having his lawyer work on legislation that he introduced).

      There is no suggestion that P Dunne’s son was advising the industry when the Bill was going through the house – so what is there to be transparent about?

      Are suggesting a standard where if an MP’s family member gives legal advise on a piece of legislation they voted for, they must actively seek out the media and tell them?

      I suggest that if Seven Sharp had journalists that understand our legal system this wouldn’t be a story.

      How do you think this compares to the story about David Cunliffe’s use of trusts to get anonymous donations for his leadership campaign?

  29. SW 29

    Miravox – this family member is a lawyer not a lobbyist – significant difference.

    You haven’t addressed my point though. No matter how Dunne presents his Bill to Parliament he is but one vote and Parliament had the chance to amend it if it was bad law.

    Further, his Dad introduced the Bill years ago. The law is passed, how can his son acting for a legal high lobbyist group now be a conflict? Is the suggestion the son can influence Dad to change the law? Or is the supposed conflict from when the law was passed before Dunne’s son was even acting for the group?

    Also, the ‘benefit’ is tenuous at best. The son is retained for giving sound legal advice, not because his Dad once passed a law to regulate the Industry.

    Not a PS Staffer – I am no Peter Dunne supporter, and you shouldn’t need to be to see a blatant media beat up when there is one.

    I eagerly await you both objecting to Mathew Palmer’s body of work: http://chambers.co.nz/our-barristers/dr-matthew-s-r-palmer/

    • Tracey 29.1

      genuine question. is he just giving them legal advice or was he speaking with mps. I know he is a lawyer and. not a mr hooton. just wondered if lawyers for a group are sometimes a hybrid

  30. grandfathered substances 30

    The real story is who approved the 41 substances with an ‘interim approval’? These substances were given a short once over review and approved for sale and so e products were rejected. Who made those decisions and to what extent were either of the Dunne’s involved???

  31. SW 31

    Hi Tracey – impossible to know without having more knowledge. It is entirely possible that he spoke with MPs though – be it seminars, conferences or making OIA requests.

  32. Dunne has posted relevant to this on his blog today. He concludes:

    Let there be no doubt that as far as I am concerned there is nothing positive about psychoactive substances. The issue is simply how to deal with what Time magazine called this week “the most complicated drug problem in the world right now … spreading to eager buyers everywhere at an unprecedented speed.”

    Because banning these products does not work (Time points out that “because the newest compounds don’t yet appear on state and federal lists of illegal drugs, the sellers can market them as legal. As soon as authorities add a compound to the prohibited list, the chemists tweak the formula—ever so slightly—to make a new substance that purports to be legal”) our responsibility must be to ensure the environment in which they are used in New Zealand reduces the prospect of harm to the greatest extent possible.

    That should not be interpreted as any form of approval for these pernicious products, as some ignorantly suggest. It is, rather, about implementing control policies that are realistic, responsible and ultimately effective. That is all that drives me day in and day out on this issue.

    http://honpfd.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/17-april-2014-there-have-been-anumber.html

    In the meantime there are growing calls for easing the laws on cannabis as it is seen as a less bad alternative.

    • aerobubble 32.1

      But that’s the thing. The debate was about legislation before Dunne stepped in and legalized these insanely bad alternatives. Key would never have moved on drugs, Dunne used the potential that is the coattail (that gives him a much larger voice) to push this disastrous legislation and delay legalization.

      • Pete George 32.1.1

        That’s not right. They were already legal, that’s why they are often referred to as legal highs.

        Prior to the Act they were having to try and make them illegal one by one as they identified a problem drug and banned it, only for it to be quickly replaced by a variation.

        There was no coattail pushing. The bill was supported across parties at select committee and was passed by 119 votes to 1.

      • Draco T Bastard 32.1.2

        It’s not disastrous legislation – it’s just not good legislation.

    • Draco T Bastard 32.2

      (Time points out that “because the newest compounds don’t yet appear on state and federal lists of illegal drugs, the sellers can market them as legal. As soon as authorities add a compound to the prohibited list, the chemists tweak the formula—ever so slightly—to make a new substance that purports to be legal”)

      And that’s a load of bollocks as I’ve said before.

      • Pete George 32.2.1

        You’re right, just about the whole of Parliament’s wrong as are a lot of experts and groups involved in drugs?

        • Draco T Bastard 32.2.1.1

          Yes. It’s not my fault that they’re too wound up in how things are and can’t see how things should be.

  33. Martin 33

    It says a lot about the so called “War on Drugs’ when the legal stuff is more dangerous than its banned natural form.

  34. Wayne 34

    It is odd how one form of cannabise is banned, But its ok for a ccompany to manufacture a synthetic and much more harmfull strand and be able to sell it freely in stores. My daughter is nine and I pray that our government has this under control befor she becomes of age and is temptd by this poision…..

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  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Why is the “Progressive” Coalition so Regressive?
    Have you ever, when parallel parking, got yourself wedged into the curb? The car in front is centimetres away and your rear wheel is touching the curb at an angle. This is a metaphor for the state of economic policy-making...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Of course the Greens could work with National
    A warm soy latte with John Key?   Sharp in take of breath moment as TVNZ last night reported Greens could work with National post the election if National win. It’s a smart move. The Greens are so viciously anti-tribal...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Quality of Journalism
    “Skilled journos getting unwarranted shit from hack bloggers & online warriors could earn big $ in PR/marketing, so thank you for what you do”. As this tweet rolled across my screen this morning the irony had me rolling my eyes. Why on...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – #BlueGreen2014 – Or: The Media Jetskiis O...
    During Thursday’s iteration of One News, I was virtually shocked off my seat to hear a reasonably well-known political pundit slash nominal “journalist” prognosticating about the likelihood of the Green Party “switching gear” on its electoral strategy … and deciding...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Winning on the Economy
    One of the great tricks of the right over the past twenty years has been to desiccate debate about our economy. ‘The economy’ is spoken about as if it is an independent entity, divorced from the realm of democratic politics...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Curwen Rolinson – They’re tryna build a prison system ...
    Well, at least we now know how National intends to deliver that extra hundred and fifty thousand jobs they’ve promised us. Although on sixty cents an hour, it’s not *quite* the reasonable pay packet – or, hell, living wage that...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ General Election is in full swing September 11 2014
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss the fallout from the dirty politics revelations and also how the political leaders are fairing. The NZ General Election is in full swing. Since we last talked, the fallout from the dirty...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Green Party package for newborns welcomed
    16 September 2014 Media Release The New Zealand College of Midwives has welcomed a policy announced today by the Green Party which would provide a package of essential items for every newborn baby. The College is a non partisan organisation...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • ALCP Release Election Manifesto
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has released its manifesto in the lead up to the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Election Daily Update #9
    John Key’s National Party appears to have received a major boost from last night’s “Moment of Truth” event, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Despite no major changes...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party
    Detroit-based music publishing companies sue National Party for damages for unauthorised use of song in election campaign advertising...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws
    Overwhelming Majority of Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws. Press release- Fifty Fifty Campaign, 16 September 2014 National is the only political party willing to defend the way WINZ treats separated parents who share their kids...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parents Smacking Down Prime Minister
    "John Keys failure to deliver on his promise to change the anti-smacking law is costing National votes, and helping the Conservative Party," says Colin Craig....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Video & Audio
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence was happy to host a political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invited representatives...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Greens Take Nanny State To A New Level
    Family First NZ is labelling the Green’s ‘welcome package’ for newborns policy as wasteful and misdirected. “This policy is taking ‘nanny state’ to a new level but indicates just how much the Greens want to intervene in family life,”...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • 2,100 people send message about dirty politics
    2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Are DoC manipulating Rat Numbers?
    Ban 1080 Political Party co-leader Bill Wallace says there are serious rumours DoC has changed their rat counting technique to cover up the lack of the mythical “Rat Plague” claimed by the Department in Kahurangi National Park, and also that...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Average Full time Student Is in Financial Distress
    A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Key and Cunliffe, research revealed by Ancestry.com.au
    Contrasting family histories of John Key and David Cunliffe, revealed by research from Ancestry.com.au....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Revelations a Damning Indictment of Key’s Honesty
    The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Organisations Have ‘Duty of Care’ for Players says Law Firm
    Concussion injuries in amateur and professional sporting arenas are currently highly topical. Concussion potentially appears to have been implicit in the recent death of a young player in Northland....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Media Release from Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Expanding Whānau Ora – a bottom line for Māori Party
    Leaving the best to last, the Māori Party has launched its Whānau Ora policy today following a fun family event at Te Ore Ore Marae in Masterton last night. “When we change what happens in our homes, we change what...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Colin Craig’s Incredible Claims Continue
    Hot on the heels of a Conservative Party candidate proposing to double the price of a bottle of wine, Colin Craig has come up with an even more fantastic idea to buttress his uncosted tax policy....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • The Letter: Jamie Whyte is going to Parliament
    Friday night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Jamie Whyte in Parliament. TVNZ rounded down the poll result (ACT was on 1.2%). With the high wasted Conservative vote, just 1.2% makes Jamie an MP. It is ACT, not NZ First that...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Why are we letting Dotcom steal our election?
    Why are we letting a convicted German fraudster and his American polemicists steal our election?...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan
    ACT has a five point plan to grow the economy by a third. To lift economic growth from the Treasury's long term forecast of just two percent to three....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Christchurch rebuild cost sharing plan must be improved
    “The agreement between the government and the Christchurch City Council about sharing costs of the rebuild is due to be revised in December, as some costs are more accurately known now than they were originally,“ says Warren Voight, Local...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New funding to support high value food exports
    Auckland, New Zealand. 15 September 2014...Plant & Food Research has received funding for two new projects in the latest government science investment round....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National, Greens Big Movers on Bribe-O-Meter
    The Taxpayers’ Union has updated its election policy 'Bribe-O-Meter’ to reflect the cost of recent campaign promises. The update takes into account Labour’s new fiscal tables and all announcements up to Friday and is based on numbers provided...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Policy Costing Expert Questions ‘NZ Power’ Numbers
    Dr Michael Dunn, engaged by the Taxpayers’ Union to provide the figures for the 'Bribe-O-Meter' election costing website , is questioning the Labour Party’s costing of it’s flagship "NZ Power” policy....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Meet the Real Colin Craig
    Watching Conservative Party leader Colin Craig struggling to explain his tax policy on The Nation this morning finally revealed that he is making dishonest promises....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Lifetime Achiever Generous of Investment in Whanau Ora
    Earlier this month, Maori Party's Te Tai Tonga and Christchurch based candidate, Ngaire Button, said she was rapt local hero, Tihi Puanaki, was named Regional Winner of the Pride of NZ 2014, Lifetime Achievement Award. Button is clearly delighted...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore And Seabed
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New Zealand’s participation in Five Eyes
    “Our policy is we're committing to a full review of all of New Zealand's security services. We will be repealing the GCSB legislation and we will replace it with something that is guaranteed to be more protective of New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
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